Born at Toronto, Ontario on 17 February 1919, he was educated at the University of Toronto. During the Second World War, he worked in the historical branch of Naval Service Headquarters at Ottawa, then transferred to the Department of External Affairs, where he served as Canadian Diplomatic Officer aboard the exchange ship Gripsholm. He had already undertaken a course of graduate study at Harvard, and after the war he completed this, returning to teach history at the University of Toronto. He served as Chairman of the Department from 1959 to 1967, and was made Professor Emeritus in 1984.
Dr. Careless is identified specifically with the study of the history of his native province. As Vice-Chairman of the provincial Archaeological and Historic Sites Board, he has played a leading part in the task of making the people of Ontario more aware of their community’s past. In 1959, he was President of the Ontario Historical Society. His contributions to history, however, have ranged beyond provincial boundaries. In a succession of important articles beginning in 1948 he illuminated various aspects of Canadian historical experience, chiefly with reference to the Victorian age. In 1953 he published Canada: A Story of Challenge, a succinct and penetrating summary whose quality was recognized by a Governor-General’s Award. In 1959 the work of many years came to fruition with the publication of The Voice of Upper Canada, the first volume of a definitive biography of George Brown entitled Brown of the Globe. Based in part upon previously unknown correspondence discovered by Dr. Careless in Scotland, the book gave new dimensions to a Canadian journalist, statesman, and patriot too often dismissed as a mere puritanical foil for another political character.
He died on 6 April 2009.
His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
George Brown and Confederation
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 26, 1969-70 Season
Limited Identities - Ten Years Later
Manitoba History, Number 1, 1981
Information from www.rsc.ca.
Page revised: 23 December 2009
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